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07 January 2020

Cannabinoids in Medicine Part 3: Psoriasis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Following the first two articles that discussed the treatment of cancer and pain, this third piece will focus on the use of cannabinoids to treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.


Endocannabinoids, as well as several phytocannabinoids, have been shown to influence immune functions, regulating inflammation, autoimmunity, antitumourigenesis, antipathogenic responses and other processes.1 Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have examined the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid signalling in inflammation-associated diseases (e.g. psoriasis) and attempted to dissect the complex immunological effects of cannabinoids.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin, characterised by excessive proliferation of keratinocytes that results in the formation of thickened scaly plaques, itching and inflammatory changes of the epidermis and dermis. The underlying pathophysiology involves activation of classes of T-cells and their interaction with dendritic cells and other cells of the innate immune system, including neutrophils and keratinocytes.

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